English or Welsh language competence

4 August 2021

If you are exempt from SQE2 you may need to demonstrate your English or Welsh language competence. This will take place after you are admitted as a solicitor, at the point where you apply for your first practising certificate.

You can demonstrate you are competent in English or Welsh in one of the following ways:

  • You have successfully passed an English or Welsh language assessment which fulfils the following core requirements:
    • The assessment is at a high level, ie The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), Level C2.
    • You have been assessed on your reading, writing, listening and speaking ability.
    • There is a system of independent assessment report verification (ie a means by which we can independently check your results against the providers’ own records).
    • There is ID verification throughout the testing process to ensure the security of its tests and test results including established methods to deal with candidate identity fraud.
    • The assessment must have been passed within two years prior to your application for admission.
    • In addition to the core requirements above, English or Welsh language assessment organisations will need to provide further evidence. This will include that they have an appropriate policy and process for reasonable adjustment requests and for ensuring the standard, validity and reliability of the assessments.
  • Your degree has been taught in English or Welsh and is equivalent to a UK FHEQ Level 6 (eg bachelors) degree, through provision of a certificate issued by UK ENIC which confirms this.
  • You hold a FHEQ Level 6 degree or higher from a university recognised by UK ENIC in a country in which they have stated that all higher education takes place in English.
  • You hold a FHEQ Level 6 degree or above from a Government recognised UK university.